Stock Photo Prices - Packaging

Posted on 9/5/2008 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Because packaging comes in many different shapes and sizes, it is often difficult to base the price on page size (1/4-page 1/2-page, etc.) We recommend that you find out as much as possible about the overall package and how your image will appear on it. Try to estimate the percentage of the package that your image covers. The prices below include software packaging, videocassettes, audio tapes, CD-ROM discs and computer games.

The figures below are for the package alone. If the image is used separately in an advertising campaign for the same product, be sure to calculate addi¬tional fees for the advertising uses. Because packaging can vary in shape and dimension, try and determine what percentage of the package your image cov¬ers.

Distribution Less than 25% 25%-50% 50%-75% 75%-100%
over 20 million 1890 2457 3024 3591
20 million 1733 2252 2772 3292
10 million 1575 2048 2520 2993
5 million 1418 1843 2268 2693
1 million 1260 1638 2016 2394
500,000 1103 1433 1764 2095
250,000 945 1229 1512 1796
100,000 819 1065 1310 1556
50,000 725 952 1159 1377
20,000 or less 630 819 1008 1197

Notes: for CD’s and cassettes
    Cover = 75-100% price X 1.5 (add 50%)
    Wrap Around Cover = 75-100% price X 1.75 (add 75%)
    Back Cover = 75-100% price 1.25 (add 25%)
    A major album for a popular musical group should be $4,500 and up.

Negotiating Tips

Remember that good packaging may make the difference between someone buying one product over another. It is meant to show the product in a favorable light and grab the buyer at the point when they are ready to buy.

Be aware how many times the image will be used on or inside the packaging. Will it also appear on a manual or supplemental material inside the package? Price these internal uses (that are not seen until the product is purchased) using the inside Brochure rates on page 258.

Packaging uses are often difficult to price because they buyer often has no idea what the press run will be until the product is marketed. Use the press run guidelines above whenever possible. If the buyer can’t give you a press run, you can give them a price for unlimited printing for a year with the understanding that they can come back after the first year and license rights based on the first year’s production.

Or suggest setting some limit on the print run, even if it is much more than they think they will print. This way, you still have the comfort of setting a limit, but they may still have breathing room over what they think they might produce. Often, licensing rights for even 20,000 more -pieces than they thin they might produce will be less expensive for them than purchasing unlimited printing rights for a year.


In the event that you want to discuss the specifics of a particular use Jim Pickerell is available for telephone consultations at 301-251-0720. The fee for such consultations is $2.50 per minute. Most only take a few minutes.

Copyright © 2008 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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